2019 BMW 530e vs. 2019 Lexus ES Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 530e’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The ES Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 530e has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The ES Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The 530e offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 530e helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The ES Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

To help make backing safer, the 530e’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The ES Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The 530e’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 530e and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW 530e weighs 593 to 758 pounds more than the Lexus ES Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The 530e’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ES Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 530e for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the ES Series.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 530e’s warranty.

Engine

The 530e’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 33 more horsepower (248 vs. 215) than the ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 267) than the ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW 530e is faster than the ES 300h:

 

530e

ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.1 MPH

90.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 530e RWD running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the ES 300h (70 city/75 hwy MPGe vs. 43 city/45 hwy).

The 530e’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 16 miles, 10 times as far as the ES 300h’s 1.6 mile range.

Transmission

The 530e’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The ES Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 530e’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:

 

530e

ES Series

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.1 inches

The 530e’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the ES Series are solid, not vented.

The 530e stops much shorter than the ES Series:

 

530e

ES Series

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

140 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 530e has larger tires than the ES Series (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17). The 530e’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES Series (245/45R18 vs. 235/45R18).

The 530e’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 530e has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ES Series.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 530e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The ES Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 530e has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 530e’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the ES Series (117.1 inches vs. 113 inches).

The 530e’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.4% to 50.6%) than the ES Series’ (59% to 41%). This gives the 530e more stable handling and braking.

The 530e handles at .85 G’s, while the ES 300h pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 530e executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the ES 300h (26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the BMW 530e amounts to more than styling. The 530e has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the ES Series (.26 to .29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 530e get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the 530e uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ES Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 530e has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity

The 530e’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the 530e offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The ES Series doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 530e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ES Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the 530e to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement and brake pad replacement, vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the ES Series.

Ergonomics

The 530e has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The ES Series doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the ES Series, the 530e offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The 530e’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the ES Series.

The 530e offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 530e’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ES Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the 530e and the ES Series offer optional heated front seats. The 530e also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ES Series.

The 530e’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ES Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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